Modernized immigration systems and updates to the Temporary Foreign Worker program are needed now to address Canada’s construction labour shortage
The Canadian Construction Association’s annual “Hill Day” is planned for Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Representatives from the Canadian construction sector are calling on the federal government to make changes to modernize Canada’s immigration policy and update the Temporary Foreign Worker program in order to address the most severe labour shortage Canada has faced in more than 50 years.
While every province and sector of the Canadian economy is reeling from historically high job vacancy rates, the situation is especially acute for the construction sector.
The federal government has an ambitious growth plan – one that includes repairing, maintaining and retrofitting aging infrastructure while also building for future climate resilience. But even the best laid plans can be derailed without the workers we need to keep us on track. The construction industry is currently struggling to fill over 81,000 jobs nationwide. This means that essential projects – schools, hospitals, power generation, roads, bridges and trade corridors that connect our communities not only to each other, but also to the global marketplace – may be delayed or cancelled.
The recent announcement that Canada would seek to welcome up to 500,000 new immigrants annually by 2025 is a good start, but skills matching is essential.
Urgent action from the federal government includes: